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The 5 Most Important Aspects of Healthy Marriages
Written by: Steve Knight
Saying What You Mean, Meaning What You Say
There's no doubt that trust is something that must be earned over time. Trust is the foundation for healthy marriages, as without it, there's nothing to build or rely on, and the union is invariably destined for failure. By taking responsibility for our actions, being honest and saying what we really mean, we're giving our partner the common courtesy they so rightly deserve.
Listening AND Hearing
According to relationship experts, listening and hearing are definitely two different actions, each with separate consequences. For example, listening might mean simply sitting there emotionless while a partner is talking about something, something that they may bring up more than often, causing the other spouse to inevitably turn a deaf ear.
This most often occurs when using sentences that start out with "You" instead of "I" or "We." Using "You" statements causes the other person to take the defense to "protect" themselves from blame, or from your seemingly accusatory tone. When we instead start out with "I feel" or "I believe" statements, the other person is more likely to actually hear what we're saying, and then be able to understand our feelings and act accordingly.
Putting the Shoe on the Other Foot
Often times married couples, or those who have been together for several years, tend to take each other for granted, and never really see things from another point of view. Sometimes, simply trying to see things from another perspective or opinion, such as the one coming from your spouse, is enough to open up a closed mind to new ideas, feelings, and a new interest in the marriage.
In many instances, stubbornness is at the root of the problem, with one partner refusing to budge or make a compromise. Work toward finding a solution where both parties are in a win-win situation, as opposed to giving in to one person's needs while ignoring the other's.
Patience Really Is a Virtue
Healthy marriages are built on not only love, trust, honor, understanding, but also with mutual respect and patience for one another. Patience means more than simply waiting for someone or something to happen without complaint, it should actually be a way of life. A spouse should be patient, understanding, and willing to allow the other the chance to make their feelings heard, make mistakes, as we are all human, and be there to help put back the pieces of the relationship together if need be.
Respect should come hand in hand with patience and understanding, which means partners in healthy marriages never criticize or try to belittle the other person, and especially not in public or when other people can hear. This chips away at the bond that ties a couple together, causing resentment, anger, and the inability to forgive or get past hurt feelings.
Absence Sometimes Does Make the Heart Grow Fonder
In healthy marriages, couples sometimes pursue different interests, which shouldn't be seen as a sign that they aren't willing or interested in doing the same things with their spouse. Allowing one another to enjoy the freedom of choosing their own pursuits on a regular basis gives both partners the chance to retain their individuality. It also gives them something of interest to share with their mate, sparking conversation, and hopefully, a renewed interest in one another.